What 's Tri-State Outfitters Known For?
TSO's earned an outstanding reputation primarily due to the trophy-quality animals our hunters routinely take. This doesn't happen by chance; we utilize stringent herd and land management practices which result in truly exceptional animals. First is we understand the importance of strong genetics, culling out animals with inferior genes while passing up large but young animals. This results in animals of excellent quality with potential for true monsters. We understand the importance of male:female ratios and we closely manage the female herd through exclusive cow/doe hunts to maintain a healthy balance. The second reason our animals are such high quality is the land management practices we follow. While our lease options are many, we select only properties that have habitat capable of producing trophies. Water sources, bedding and grazing areas, and sanctuaries are all key factors as we select which properties to lease. We consciously rotate hunting areas on our more than three quarters of a million leased acres to minimize pressure and stress on the animals, resulting in you seeing exceptionally large numbers of animals of trophy-grade quality. Consistently practicing strict herd and land management practices for more than 30 years has resulted in animals that are truly trophy-class.
What Does Tri-State Outfitters Do Better Than The Competition? Why Choose Us for Your Once-In-A-Lifetime Hunt?
We have a phenomenally high Return Customer Rate of 70% due to two reasons: the ability of our properties to grow trophy animals and the skill of our guides to put you on them. Our 882,000 acres of leased land are carefully chosen for their ability to produce trophy-quality animals. Acerage, water, bedding and feed areas are all carefully managed and the result are properties holding true trophies of which we have exclusive access to. We’ve managed many of our properties for more than 30 years and this long-term management results in animals second to none. Second are our guides; we proudly consider them the best in the business! Highly experienced, motivated and passionate, they're fiercely committed to getting you a shot at the animal of your dreams.
What’s the History of Tri-State Outfitters? How Experienced Are You?
Tri-State Outfitters was founded in 1987 and has earned an outstanding reputation as one of the best big-game outfitters in the West. A family-run organization with more than 30 years of experience, we actually own and live on some of the land we hunt. This long-term history of managing the animals and land results in you hunting world-class terrain producing world-class animals.
What’s Your Success Rate?
While success rates vary by species, we’re proud we can honestly say nearly 100% of our clients have shot opportunities on a high-quality animal. Our 70% Returning Hunter Rate testifies to our ability in consistently putting our hunters on trophy animals.
Where Do You Hunt?
We provide world-class hunts primarily in two locations. Our Colorado lodge is approximately 30 miles northeast of Colorado Springs and we have several properties in northeast New Mexico.
Is the Land I’ll Be Hunting Private or Public? How Much Land Do You Lease?
All the land we hunt is privately leased. We invest significant funds into leases for two reasons. First, what Tri-State Outfitters is known for is our ability to consistently produce trophy-class animals. We accomplish this through diligent herd and land management practices, something only possible on land we exclusively control. Second is hunting pressure. Because we have exclusive hunting rights to our land, the animals experience little pressure. We hunt 10 ranches with a total of 882,000 acres all exclusively leased to us; 100,000 in Colorado and 782,000 acres in New Mexico.
What’s the Terrain Like?
Both locations feature generally open terrain of grasslands, sage and scrub oak punctuated by ridges, gulliles and pockets of dark timber. This rich mix of varied terrain is a major reason our properties consistently produce trophy-grade animals.
What Sort of Hunting Style Should I Expect?
While we’ll customize your hunt to match the hunting style you prefer, the vast majority of our elk/deer/antelope hunts are “spot & stalk.” We’ll use the method most effective for the terrain/conditions and this normally means covering large amounts of ground in your guide’s vehicle glassing for animals. Once a suitable animal’s located, your guide will lead you on a stalk to get you within a shooting range your’e comfortable with. Please see our hunt pages for info on styles to hunt other animals such as mountain lion, turkey, etc.
Are The Hunts Physically Demanding? What’s the Altitude? How Does Game Recovery Work?
While most hunting situations require some level of physical exertion, our hunts are typically on the low end of the difficulty scale. The average elevation of both locations is 6,6,00 feet, just a bit higher than Denver. We’re generally able to drive up to the animal to recover it but if necessary your guide/others will pack your animal out for you.
Is It True the Current New Mexico State Record Whitetail Was Taken on Tri-State Outfitters property?
It’s true! The current New Mexico state record whitetail grossing 188”/net 176 ⅜ “ was harvested in 2019 on land leased exclusively to Tri-State Outfitters. You have the ability to hunt this same property!
What’s the Closest Airport? Do You Provide Transportation To/From the Lodge?
The Colorado Springs Airport is closest to our Colorado location (approximately 30 miles away) and we’ll provide transportation to/from the lodge. Denver International Airport is approximately 80 miles from the lodge, with transportation from/to the Denver airport being on your own. New Mexico hunters have multiple airport options with the best one based upon which of our properties you’re hunting (transportation between the airport and our new Mexico location is a hunter responsibility). Please ask us about airport options before booking your flight.
How Far In Advance Should I Book My Hunt?
Due to our outstanding hunts we have a large number of returning clients where our hunts fill out far in advance. You’re encouraged to contact us as far out as possible so you can hunt what you want when you want. We can potentially customize your hunt based on personal experience you wish to have. We do occassionally have cancellations where we can work you in and you’re encouraged to subscribe to our email list to learn about these late-breaking opportunities.
What’s the Average Number of Hunters in Camp? Are your hunts 1:1 or 2:1?
While numbers vary based upon the species/time of year you hunt, we generally average 5-6 clients in camp at a time. Unless you specifically book a 2:1 hunt with a partner, all our hunts are 1:1. We’re fiercely passionate in providing you the best chance possible at the animal of your dreams - given the large sizes of our leased lands, you’ll never have a problem of us having “too many hunters.”
How Much Do Your Hunts Cost?
Tri-State Outfitters prides itself on providing exceptional hunts with world-class animals. The adage of, “You Get What You Pay For” is definitely true when it comes to big game hunting - we know the combination of our quality animals and lands, the skill of our guides and our accommodations set us apart from the competition. While there definitely are cheaper hunts out there, we’re confident you’ll find the cost of your once-in-a-lifetime hunt with us to be a wise investment. Please contact us for prices of the hunts you’re interested in.
Do I Need To Acquire My Hunting Tag Separately?
A significant advantage in hunting with us is that nearly all tags are guaranteed - no need to wait many years acquiring points, having to navigate complex lotteries on your own! Please contact us to discuss the tag specifics for the hunt you want.
What’s Your Payment and Refund Policy?
50% is due at the time of booking to confirm your hunt with the balance being due upon arrival. We have a 100% refund policy if we’re able to re-book a hunt you need to cancel.
What’s the Typical Weather Like?
While precipitation varies at both locations and snow can occur nearly any time, hunters can generally expect dry hunting conditions. Below are the average temperature ranges for both locations:
Colorado Average Highs/Lows (Fahrenheit)
January 40° / 7°
February 46° / 13°
March 49° / 19°
April 58° / 26°
May 67° / 35°
June 77° / 43°
July 83° / 50°
August 82° / 48°
September 74° / 39°
October 63° / 28°
November 49° / 16°
December 44° / 10°
New Mexico Average Highs/Lows (Fahrenheit)
January 47° / 21°
February 49° / 23°
March 55° / 28°
April 62° / 34°
May 71° / 43°
June 80° / 52°
July 84° / 56°
August 82° / 55°
September 76° / 49°
October 66° / 38°
November 55° / 29°
December 47° / 22°
What’s the Average range I Should Expect for a Rifle Shot?
The most common range of shots taken are approximately 150-200 yards, though it’s not uncommon to have shots closer and out to 400 yards or more. It’s very important you and your guide communicate the distance you’re confident taking shots at. While your guide will advise you on shots, the decision on whether to shoot or not ultimately resides with the shooter. Please review our “Draw Blood” Policy explained in the FAQ below. It’s in your best interest to arrive for your hunt being capable of shooting a 3-inch group at 200 yards and proficient in various shooting positions (i.e. off shooting sticks, prone, standing, offhand, etc.). When that opportunity of a lifetime arrives, you want to be able to close the deal!
Does Tri-State Outfitters Have a "Draw Blood/Wound Policy?"
In order for us to properly manage our herds producing trophy-quality animals, TSO has a strict “Draw Blood/Wound Policy.” If you draw blood on an animal, that is your animal. The ultimate responsibility in whether a hunter shoots or not lies with the hunter themselves. Only take shots you feel confident you can make. When you wound an animal in any way, that animal is considered a kill whether the animal is recovered or not. We’ll make every effort to recover that animal with you; our guides are expert trackers and will exhaust all reasonable efforts in recovery. Often we’ll continue looking for an animal even after you’ve departed camp for home. But please understand that once you wound an animal you will not be permitted to continue hunting a different animal. This is for conservation/herd health along with ethical reasons and is standard practice amongst reputable big game organizations.
What’s the Meal Schedule Like?
Hunting timelines are often fluid and driven by what’s happening on your hunt. Not all hunters return to camp at the same time and we plan accordingly. Each day begins with an early-morning continental breakfast to fuel you for your morning hunt. Generally hunters return late-morning to the lodge where you’ll enjoy a hearty hot breakfast expertly created by our chef. Snacks and beverages are available throughout the day as hunters generally relax until their early to mid-afternoon hunt begins.You’re encouraged to take a few snacks in your pack for the hunt and when you return in the evening a full dinner awaits you. Occasionally the hunter requests or the hunt situation requires one to stay out all day and we can create a box lunch for you.
Do You Provide Alcohol?
While insurance liability prohibits us from providing alcohol, please feel free to bring your favorites. Safety is of the highest priority and we have a zero tolerance policy. If your guide feels your ability to safely hunt is impaired by alcohol you will not be allowed to hunt until it’s determined it can be done safely. This means no alcohol consumption during the day. This is for the protection of you, your guide, and others around you.
Are there any Stores Nearby Where I Can Purchase Drinks/Equipment?
The nearest town to our New Mexico lodge is Raton NM. This town of approximately 6,000 people is 15 miles away with several liquor stores but few other services. Services around our Colorado lodge are few and far between. In both cases you’re encouraged to arrive with everything you need to maximize time afield pursuing your trophy.
Will I Have Cell Service During My Hunt?
While pockets of non-coverage exist on both ranches, most hunters have fairly consistent coverage at the lodge. Additionally, both lodges provide wireless internet.
What Housekeeping’s Provided?
A professional housekeeper provides daily service like what you’d expect in a quality hotel. This includes making beds, providing fresh towels/linens as needed, etc.
Is There A Washer/Dryer At the Lodge?
Yes, each lodge has a washer/dryer for your use.
What Should I Bring?
Your guide will have high-quality binoculars, rangefinder, field dressing gear, bipod/shooting sticks, spotting scope and 1st aid kit with them. Below’s a list of gear we recommend:
- Personals kit/bathroom bag with any medications you need
- Sunscreen, lip balm, and bug spray
- Leather or durable lightweight gloves early and heavier gloves later
- Light wool hiking socks early to mid and heavy weight later
- Leather hiking boots are best - we recommend Kenetrek boots at kenetrek.com or Schnees boots and schnees.com
- Camp shoes
- Hat or cap with brim of some sort. We give you a Tri-State ball cap
- Lightweight breathable clothing for early hunts, mid to heavy for late hunts. Lightweight to heavyweight rain gear.
- Camera or cell phone
- Binoculars - 10x42 are best all around binos and we recommend Swarovski or Leica. Buy at outdoorsman.com.
- Spotting scope. This is not a necessary item as all guides have them but we recommend Swarovski at outdoorsmans.com.
- Tripod and window mount for spotting scope if you want to bring one. We recommend Outdoorsmans at outdoorsmans.com.
- Light daypack style backpack. We recommend Stone Glacier packs at stoneglacier.com
- Simple 1st aid kit if you wish
- Headlamp. We recommend petzl.com lights
- Pocket knife. We recommend benchmade.com knives
- Blaze orange only on CO hunts. Minimum 500 square inches of solid blaze orange which is equivalent to a hat and vest.
- Shooting sticks or rest of some sort. We like Bog Pog at outdoorsmans.com>.
- RIFLE: for Antelope .243 caliber or greater, for Deer and bigger .270 or greater. Bring at least 20 rounds of ammo. We like Hornady, Buffalo Bore, and Underwood ammo. Call us if you have specific ammo or rifle questions. If you flew it is mandatory to verify your rifle’s zero. For rifle optics we recommend leupold.com. We also use and highly endorse suppressors. We use silencercentral.com cans.
- ARCHERY:if using archery equipment we highly recommend PSE bows at psearchery.com and grizzlystik.comfor broadheads and arrows. NO MECHANICAL BROADHEADS ALLOWED.
What are TSO’s and My Responsibilities Regarding Meat Processing and Transportation?
Once an animal is down your guide will field dress it and transport it back to the lodge. There it will normally be skinned, quartered, and refrigerated until the end of your hunt. If you wish to have your meat processed at one of our two recommended locations below we’ll transport the animal to the processor for you. Once it’s there, all coordination, payment, and transportation are your responsibility.
If you’re hunting our New Mexico location we recommend Springer Processing in Springer, NM approximately 15 miles south of Raton. Turnaround time is 1-2 weeks and shipping of your frozen meat can be coordinated through them. Approximate processing costs are $150 for deer and antelope and $1.50/pound for elk.They’re run by Alan Wagonner and he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 620-376-8338.
Clients hunting our Colorado properties are encouraged to use Rob Lewis at Lewis Processing. He’s located just a few miles from the lodge, turnaround time is 1-2 weeks, and shipping of your frozen meat can be coordinated through him. Approximate costs are $350 for bull elk, $300 cow elk, $200 deer and $100 for an antelope. Rob can be reached at 303-908-1027 or email@example.com.
Do You Have Recommendations on a Taxidermist?
Should you want a high-quality mount we recommend Dan French Taxidermy. Dan’s shop is located in Laporte, Colorado and his work is simply outstanding. He normally can complete your mount in under 7 months and can finish it in 2-3 months under rush conditions. Dan offers beautiful options including full-body mounts, European/antler mounts and tanning. A major benefit of using Dan’s services is he will pick up your animal at both our Colorado and New Mexico lodge with no need for you to transport it to him.
For more information please see Dan’s website at danfrenchtaxidermy.com and his phone number is (970) 218-6281.
How Much Should I Plan on Tipping?
We’re often asked, “How much should I tip and whom?” While tipping’s ultimately a personal decision there’s a few standard recommendations amongst big-game outfitters we’d like to suggest for you. Our guides are highly-experienced, passionate, and totally committed to providing you a great hunting experience. Bluntly put, they’re some of the best in the business and we demand nothing less from them. They’re the face of Tri-State Outfitters, are the main reason we’re so successful, and our extremely high Return Client Rate is a testimony to their skill and effort. Our recommendation is to tip your guide 10% of the booked cost of the hunt for hunts $10K and over and 15% for hunts under $10K. This is the recommended rate regardless if your hunt is a 2:1 or 1:1 hunt. You may also have an apprentice guide with you who proves to be a tremendous help in finding game, packing your animal out, skinning and quartering, etc. It would be nice if you show your appreciation for their efforts as well. Finally, don’t forget the housekeeper and chef! The cook is almost always the first up in the pre-dawn darkness and the last to go to bed. Hunters often pool tips for the chef with other clients but we do recommend at least $100 be contributed per person.
Can I Donate My Meat?
Yes you may donate your meat and we’ll ensure it goes to a family in need. However you’re responsible for any costs if processing is required (sometimes it’s not).
Can I Bring a Non-Hunting Companion?
Yes, non-hunting companions are allowed. Please contact us for rates and availability.
What If I Tag Out Early In the Hunt?
If you tag out early in the hunt you’re encouraged to relax and enjoy the amenities of our beautiful lodges. Your guide will continue scouting for other hunters and you’re welcome to join him and if you’re hunting with companions you’re often able to continue the hunt with them.